Golden Ticket Awards 2018

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby robbalvey » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:14 pm

AndrewRnR wrote:Bingo. The fact they accept advertising dollars from those up for awards says it all. The parks know they won before hand because they get a phone call or email or whatever asking to pay money to run an ad with their award. And I think that is why Knoebels always wins a few things - because they know they can call up Dick and he'll buy an ad and will show up to the awards show. Instead of if Epcot won best food (as it probably should), Disney isn't likely going to send a rep and won't buy an ad (fun fact: Disney is the only park that won an award, Tower of Terror, and didn't buy ad space...) and they certainly aren't going to post over social or issue a press release about it.

That is EXACTLY it! While I agree that Knoebels does have the best "amusement park food" if you are singling out just one park, you have to give it to Epcot. There is simply NO QUESTION. Even just with some of their World Showcase restaurants: Le Cellier Steakhouse, Monsieur Paul, Tutto Italia, Via Napoli, Teppan Edo, Spice Road Table, and not even mentioning some of the festivals throughout the year: Food & Wine, Flower & Garden, etc, there is simply no contest and anyone who would say differently I would seriously have to question if they know what food actually is.

This is why there should be two categories. One for "amusement park" food and one for "theme park" food. But they aren't going do that because:

1. Golden Tickets are stupid.
2. Disney isn't going to give the Golden Tikcets any more attention so why do the extra work to give Disney more attention?
3. There are probably quite a lot of people who vote that just aren't sophisticated enough or probably can even afford to go and dine Epcot. (Trust me, I've seen some of the people who they have voting in that poll, it's frightening!) Just being honest, but I highly doubt that most of the voters for the Golden Tickets are going to spring for a meal at Le Cellier or Monsieur Paul but will most certainly buy a cheese on a stick at Knoebels. And besides, Epcot doesn't even have a roller coaster and I cannot tell you how many ACE members I've heard say "I'm not going to that park because it doesn't have a coaster." #dumb

And there is nothing wrong with the cheese on a stick at Knoebels, I love it myself and I would vote for it in a heartbeat in the best amusement park category, but you simply cannot compare it, and it would actually be unfair to compare it to the Epcot offerings because Epcot should win every time.

But for some reason the Golden Tickets won't really acknowledge Disney and I can probably give you one guess as to why....
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Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:21 pm.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby larrygator » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 pm

cfc wrote:I used to be on the list to vote in this poll, but they dropped me years ago, for which I have no regrets--the Golden Tickets are just dumb.


Same here, I think I missed voting 3 or 4 years ago and was not sent a ballot the following year. I used to write in selections for more than half the categories.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby Kemotblue » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:25 pm

Why couldn't they restructure it by the type of park. Have different categories Major Theme Parks (Disney, Universal, Sea World/Busch Gardens, Cedar Point, Magic Mountain, Silver Dollar City; Then next break it down too Medium, Small Independent theme-parks; and finally have one for just the Amusement Parks. It would give more opportunity for more parks to win awards. Not the same parks each and every year winning the awards. When they have the award ceremony to present the awards take the top 5 categories for each group. for example 5 for the Major Parks; 5 for the Medium/Independent parks; 5 for the Amusement Parks. Those are the ones that will be awarded during the event. The rest of the awards in each group will later be awarded to the park after the event. Then publish a list of the winners after the event or the next day.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby coasterBro » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:12 pm

larrygator wrote:
cfc wrote:I used to be on the list to vote in this poll, but they dropped me years ago, for which I have no regrets--the Golden Tickets are just dumb.


Same here, I think I missed voting 3 or 4 years ago and was not sent a ballot the following year. I used to write in selections for more than half the categories.


Attending certain ACE events pretty much gets you added to the list.


robbalvey wrote:Oh, make no mistake about it, Amusement Today and the Golden Tickets have IMO some seriously shady business going on there. The fact that they have some weird connections with ACE, who absoultely DO NOT represent your average theme park guest in any way at all, and then also seem to play favorites to certain companies that either support Amusement Today with advertising dollars or other benefits, just shows how broken that whole system and organization is. As someone already pointed out, the parks that either have just completed a recent ACE convention or the parks that host or have recently hosted the Golden Tickets always seem to get extra "pats on the back" when it comes to the winners or their placement in the top rankings.

This is not a legit awards by any stretch of the imagination and should not be taken seriously by anyone. It's just a shame that these have become the face of the industry as far as any awards go, mainly due to lack of anyone else willing to step in. We really should consider changing that and show the world how it should be done. Maybe that will also expose some of the shady practices going on here as well... Hmmm....


ACE's Communications Director & Association Manager are both Amusement Today Editors. They also are the ones responsible for ACE's RollerCoaster! publication, and one of them is involved in the sending out of Golden Ticket ballots.

Two of the other Amusement Today Contributors are listed in ACE's org chart (one is on the history committee, another is an assistant regional rep).


Here are their published ad rates: https://i1.wp.com/amusementtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2018-PrintAd-Rates.jpg

This obviously doesn't include whatever Mack, RMC, and S&S paid to sponsor the award ceremony event (which I'm sure in no way influenced the "Best Park", "Best New Ride for 2018", or "Best New Ride for 2019" voting). [My conspiracy theory is that the TT vote was "close" to SV to throw SDC and Mack a bone without actually giving them the victory, and that S&S's sponsorship this year is to grease the way for Maxx Force or Steel Curtain to win next year's Best New Ride award, but that may just be a conspiracy theory.]

I would love so much for someone to do a full audit of ACE's finances. It wouldn't shock me one bit if there's a bunch of funny business going on. I mean, they're about to do a trip to Japan with over 150 people, at over $3k per person. That's a *half million dollars* of money flowing through 'nonprofit' 'volunteer' hands. I'd be shocked if all of those dollars were properly accounted for with the way they run their organization.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby robbalvey » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:42 am

coasterBro wrote:I mean, they're about to do a trip to Japan with over 150 people, at over $3k per person. That's a *half million dollars* of money flowing through 'nonprofit' 'volunteer' hands. I'd be shocked if all of those dollars were properly accounted for with the way they run their organization.

Well, to be fair, I for one know how much it costs to do a Japan trip and we usually charge over $3k per person...

But our trip also includes on property stays at higher end hotels at places like Disney and Universal. Express passes at all the parks that provide them. Quite a few meals included. All internal transportation (usually a Japanese Rail Pass or internal flights if needed). And as much ERT as the parks will allow us to purchase. Oh, and our prices are usually that much because our Japan trips are usually about 14-17 days and we are only amortizing costs across about 35-40 people because we aren't stupid enough to do a trip to Japan with 150 people.

Does ACE provide that same level of accommodations and perks for a similar length of time, because if not, that's an expensive trip and it would be really interesting to see where that money is going.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby cfc » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:54 am

larrygator wrote:
cfc wrote:I used to be on the list to vote in this poll, but they dropped me years ago, for which I have no regrets--the Golden Tickets are just dumb.


Same here, I think I missed voting 3 or 4 years ago and was not sent a ballot the following year. I used to write in selections for more than half the categories.


Yep--I used to write in a bunch of selections, too.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby The Geek Mojo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:15 am

I would say the Golden Ticket Awards are good for the "new" enthusiast. When I first got into coasters about ten years ago, I used their awards like a checklist. But as time has gone by and have experienced all these parks for myself, I can see that the GTA's are a joke. But at one time...They were very helpful. I'll give them that credit...But that's about it.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby coasterBro » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:01 am

robbalvey wrote:
coasterBro wrote:I mean, they're about to do a trip to Japan with over 150 people, at over $3k per person. That's a *half million dollars* of money flowing through 'nonprofit' 'volunteer' hands. I'd be shocked if all of those dollars were properly accounted for with the way they run their organization.

Well, to be fair, I for one know how much it costs to do a Japan trip and we usually charge over $3k per person...

But our trip also includes on property stays at higher end hotels at places like Disney and Universal. Express passes at all the parks that provide them. Quite a few meals included. All internal transportation (usually a Japanese Rail Pass or internal flights if needed). And as much ERT as the parks will allow us to purchase. Oh, and our prices are usually that much because our Japan trips are usually about 14-17 days and we are only amortizing costs across about 35-40 people because we aren't stupid enough to do a trip to Japan with 150 people.

Does ACE provide that same level of accommodations and perks for a similar length of time, because if not, that's an expensive trip and it would be really interesting to see where that money is going.


According to their FB event page, it's 17 parks in 11 days. They're only doing ERT at 3 parks (none of the major ones), are staying at 3 $200-300/night hotels (2 Hiltons and one really nice one in Tokyo), none of which are connected to any parks (or are even close to any parks). They're using 5 or 6 coaches to bus everyone around, except on the days at Disney & Universal people have to find their own way back to the hotel via public transport. The only meals being included are breakfasts at the hotels. The only express passes being included are the 7-skip passes at Universal. There are no non-amusement park tourist attractions/stops/time planned. Since the hotels are so far away from the parks, either they're all going to have to be getting up at an ungodly early hour or not being at the parks by opening (much less an hour or more early like you really need to do for Disney). Oh, and the organizers just discovered 2 weeks ago that one of the parks they had planned to visit is under construction and its coaster is closed, and another park wasn't even scheduled to be open on the day they had planned for it, so they had to rearrange their schedule. They still haven't released the full trip itinerary, and it starts in a week and a half.

I know a guy who is going, and he is piiiiiiisssed. They didn't find out the trip only included the above till like 2 weeks ago, long after they had everybody's money and refused to refund any of it. Oh, and the price was actually only $3400 for double-occupancy rooms. Single-occupancy was over $4600 :shockr:

I told him for that amount of money, (even on 4 weeks notice) he could have done everything they're planning to do but better, AND bought a $1000 2-day/3-night Disney vacation package w/ tons of FP's (that's really for 2 people) and still probably spent less. SMH
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby SharkTums » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:24 am

^That's always been the problem with those ACE trips. They have people planning them that have no business planning! Some organizing ACE people used to actually ask us to quietly help them (i.e. they weren't allowed to tell ACE they had asked the Alvey's for assistance!).

They are IDIOTS for doing that trip on buses. I said it and I stand by it. They're probably just scared to do the research and understand how to do the trains.

Any of you interested in Japan should either use our guide, or go with us! We do Japan right!

Oh, and that cost is high because they usually send the entire ACE Executive committee for free!

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby coasterBro » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:29 am

SharkTums wrote:Oh, and that cost is high because they usually send the entire ACE Executive committee for free!


Shouldn't that be illegal somehow? Embezzlement or some other such nonsense?
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